Election 2021: Paul Bingham, longstanding Littleton watchdog, eyes council seat

Candidate runs on campaign to preserve community character

Paul Bingham, a 59-year resident of Littleton, has been to more city council meetings than most. 
“I’ve gone to every city council meeting for 15 years just to keep track of what they’re doing,” said Bingham, who is no stranger to long nights sitting in front of councilmembers, listening and sometimes speaking during public comment periods. 
Now he wants to be on the other side of that room with a seat at the table. 
Bingham, who is running for a council seat in District 3 in this year’s mail-in election, said he has a long-held and intimate understanding of council that makes him the right person for the job. 
“I don’t need to run up a learning curve,” he said. “I’ve done that.” 
In past years Bingham has joined current councilmember Carol Fey, who is also running in this year’s election for mayor, to support other council candidates in their campaigns. With these years of experience, Bingham said he has the ability to lead as a councilmember himself. 
Bingham is running a self-funded campaign and reported spending $480 with $0 raised according to first-round reports of campaign donations and expenditures filed with the city clerk recently.
“I know how much a district campaign costs because I’ve been involved with others,” he said. “It’s been a great time saver.”
Bingham said preserving Littleton’s character is a crucial aspect of his campaign. As Littleton and the surrounding metro area’s population grows, the city faces a slew of challenges from traffic congestion to building changes. 
“We’re having a difficult time maintaining community character,” Bingham said. “We’ve got quite a few developments that have come along and risen up in the face of that campaign to maintain our community character.”
During an Oct. 5 city council meeting, Bingham joined with a host of other concerned residents in asking council to hold off on a decision on the proposed sweeping redevelopments for Aspen Grove, a shopping center located in south Littleton. 
The center has for years seen declining sales tax revenue, and developers are proposing new mixed-use development that would include up to 2,000 residences, revamped plazas and increased building heights to spur new economic growth. 
Bingham, during the public comment period of the Oct. 5 meeting, said he feared Aspen Grove’s makeover could fall short of its goals, ending up like the mostly vacant shopping area of Littleton Village. 
It’s the kind of change that Bingham is wary about. He said while he supports necessary development, the city must be careful not to build or revamp areas in a way that would infringe on its identity. 
Bingham said he is supportive of the city’s new moves with regards to how it zones for development, taking an approach that lets the city tell developers what it wants as opposed to what developers can’t do. 
“I believe that’s going to help us figure out that balance and keep it balanced,” he said. 
But he also knows change is coming. For him, it’s a matter of meeting the city’s needs while allowing for growth. 
He wants to build upon zoning ordinances that will give the city power when negotiating with developers. 
Along with growth and development, Bingham said the city needs to do more for people experiencing homelessness. He said one of his first proposals as a councilmember would be to install lockers for people who are homeless to store their belongings. 
“I think it could be as simple as surplus school lockers with built-in combination locks that we could provide,” he said, adding that lockers could be included in the proposed bridge house that seeks to connect people experiencing homelessness with the right services. 
As he looks forward to the final weeks of the election, Bingham is confident that his years of experience will carry him to success if elected. 
“I can land on the council and start running right away,” he said.
Paul Bingham, Littleton, Election 2021


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